The World Was Its Scratching Post: Mercury Bobcat

Illustration for article titled The World Was Its Scratching Post: Mercury Bobcat

When's the last time you heard an exploding-Bobcat joke? The Bobcat, a Pinto clone produced for the 1975 through 1980 model years, was certainly yet another forgotten Mercury, but somehow turned this obscurity to its advantage and avoided the stigma of its 'splosive Ford sibling (actually, a bit of hindsight shows that the Pinto didn't really explode much more often than other cars of similar size, but a rep is a rep). And a Bobcat stuffed full of 351 cubes of unibody-twisting Windsor power certainly gets the Jalopnik stamp of approval. Hey, was the funny-car package a factory option?

1978 Mercury Bobcat []

Turbo Pinto! [internal]

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i saw a documentary which said the exploding fuel tank was caused by the lack of a really cheap part(less than $5 if i recall) that was originally proposed and then killed due to cost cutting. if the pinto hadn't had the exploding stigma, it could really have done well. it is one of the only distinctive looking cars ford had from that whole era. it was ahead of its time in a lot of ways.